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Upgrade CPU or GPU

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October 19, 2012 9:30:41 PM

Hi guys, I would like to know if I should upgrade my GPU or processor. I currently own a 1.5gb palit gtx 580 and a amd phenom 965be 4 core @ 4ghz. I have recently gained some money and I plan to upgrade one of the components. If I was going to upgrade my processor I would get one of the 8 core bulldozers and gpu a gtx 680 or hd 7970 considering my current components what should I upgrade?

More about : upgrade cpu gpu

October 19, 2012 9:42:18 PM

what are you going to use the pc for? As usually, it depends on the applications.
Games still profit from single core performance, less cores but higher CPU frequency is preferred. If you are running multi-core optimized applications, then obviously more cores are needed.

If you are encoding video, or graphics rendering constantly, an 8 core or 6 core will benefit you. If you are gaming, or just generally
emailing, surfing the internet, and watching videos, a high clock dual core is adequate, and the money would be better spent , like a kickass video card, or upgrade to an ssd.

If you occasionally encode videos while using your pc, a quad core is probably a good buy.

If y aou buy a 6/8 core cpu and you aren't flogging it to death with video encoding or heavy rendering, then you are wasting money, and electricity.

6/8 chores cpus typically idle at full power load of a dual core cpu, of not higher, and possibly even waste enough to power a low end quad core at full tilt.
October 19, 2012 10:05:31 PM

Hi :) 

GPU ...you already have a decent cpu....

All the best Brett :) 
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October 19, 2012 10:14:48 PM

don't upgrade anything. the video card is something lots of people would kill for and is still a top line card.

don't upgrade the CPU. you couldn't put anything in that machine that's worth spending money on.

save your money.
October 19, 2012 10:30:18 PM

If your 965be is stable at 4ghz I would not worry about upgrading the CPU. I can tell you I am really happy with my Sapphire 7950. If you go for a new GPU just make sure your current PSU can handle the new card.

As for going to a FX-8120 or 8150 most will tell you they are crap but for me it has been really good. I went from a Phenom II 1090t to a FX-8120 at 4ghz on a 20x multiplier and it was a good upgrade. I had a few games that would stutter or just did not play well on ultra/high and that all changed with the FX-8120 and that is what I was looking for in the upgrade.

I already had a $200.00 dollar mainboard so scrapping it and going to intel was just not a option. I see a lot of post like that "just go intel" but they never take into account the cost of replacing a high end motherboard plus the cost of the CPU and for a lot of us that is just more than we can afford at one time.
October 19, 2012 11:37:14 PM

i wouldnt upgrade anything. bank the money until that system ages a bit more then build a whole new system. intel based.
October 20, 2012 1:10:39 AM

It is not clear to me what the best upgrade would be, assuming it is for gaming.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.


Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
October 20, 2012 1:23:54 AM

the system looks pretty balanced to me. any significant improvement in one area wont be reflected in gaming i wouldnt think. i would call that system done. save up for your next platform. since intel is so ahead right now, i would suggest an intel based system.

i am not a fanboy, i just used whatever is better. i used to use amd when they were top dog
!